Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Boeing Board to Call for Safety Changes After 737 Max Crashes

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Boeing Board to Call for Safety Changes After 737 Max Crashes

Old 16th Sep 2019, 00:36
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 756
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Boeing Board to Call for Safety Changes After 737 Max Crashes

(Not sure whether this should be here or in the ongoing MAX thread.) Posted to the Times website a couple of hours ago:

Boeing Board to Call for Safety Changes After 737 Max Crashes

For the past five months, a small committee of Boeing’s board has been interviewing company employees, safety experts and executives at other industrial organizations in an attempt to understand how the aerospace giant could design and build safer airplanes.

The committee is expected to deliver its findings to the full Boeing board this week, and call for several meaningful changes to the way the company is structured, according to three people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report has not yet been submitted.

The recommendations will include that Boeing change aspects of its organizational structure, calling for the creation of new groups focused on safety and encouraging the company to consider making changes to the cockpits of future airplanes to accommodate a new generation of pilots, some of whom may have less training.

More

Last edited by OldnGrounded; 16th Sep 2019 at 00:42. Reason: Restore vanished paragraph breaks.
OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 05:53
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If these last 3 paragraphs are any indication of the state of communication between Boeing and regulators, things are not looking good for the MAX flying soon:

In August, Boeing met with officials from the F.A.A. and other global aviation agencies to brief them on its efforts to complete fixes on the Max. Regulators asked detailed questions about adjustments to the Max’s flight control computers, which the Boeing representatives there were not prepared to answer.

Instead, the company representatives began to display a PowerPoint presentation on their efforts, according to people briefed on the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was not public.

At that point, the regulators ended the meeting. Weeks later, Boeing has still not answered all their questions.
Sounds a lot like public comments on the nature of the Brexit negotiations by Boris Johnson (much progress being made in negotiations), contrasted with statements from the EU (nope, not happening).

Talking past each other? Not a good sign. Must be missing something, I thought FAA was working closely on final fix details, getting ready to start test flights?
DieselOx is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 06:23
  #3 (permalink)  
fdr
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: 3rd Rock, #29B
Posts: 2,936
Received 840 Likes on 248 Posts
Originally Posted by OldnGrounded
(Not sure whether this should be here or in the ongoing MAX thread.) Posted to the Times website a couple of hours ago:
A great development.

However,

Boeings real problems are not in the aircraft, they are in the corporate managements failure to live up to their code of ethics. When they do an RCA and ascertain why they elected to act as they did with the QA engineers that discovered the non compliant parts being put onto the first years of the NG production from their supplier, then perhaps they will be able to implement appropriate changes. They appear to only respond to adverse outcomes instead of being proactive in maintaining the ethical standards that once upon a time they were famous for, rather than being infamous.

Boeing has the technical competency and the ability to be innovative if they choose to be. For the last 40 years, a great deal of the innovation has been acquired by takeovers of other companies and their programs, which achieves the desired outcome, but can lead to organisational problems. However, the .767 Tanker ethics issues, the 737 production non compliance and their response, the MAX, 767 FOD, 787 production line concerns point to corporate changes being necessary. Boeing is still a global leader, but they could be working towards being the supplier of last resort as competent alternatives to their programs exist.

The legacy holdover of the 737 has been forced mainly by the airlines, and that is probably reaching a logical end following the MAX debacle. Airbus went a smarter route with the CCQ, Boeing needs to go back to some basic assumptions as to what needs to be taught, and consider green field designs in the future that train for necessary differences, which frankly has little to do with flying the aircraft, it has a lot to do with the system architecture, for which the crew need a modicum of knowledge. To avoid excessive training overhead, the current variant, MAX holds over outdated system architecture. Yet the MAX event resulted from a lack of knowledge of the crew as to the existence and the function of the MCAS, and the historical issues with the manual trim, which would appear to contradict a position suggesting that generic training is appropriate. Each systems FMA should be fully known by the manufacturer, at the time of design. That would result in a requirement to observe a fault, and respond accordingly. MCAS was an "unknown unknown"... a failure of the FMA process in the design of the system.

Applying (or mis-applying) the Pareto Rule, 20% of operators will benefit from having highly detailed knowledge on the systems and design, the other 80% want to know what page to turn to in the QRH. 100% are required by operating protocol to adhere to the QRH, and not go out doing heroic intervention from the get go. It is interesting to note that culturally, the groups that want or expect greater background information are those that also have the highest levels of individualism and the lowest level of compliance with formal procedures.

The fundamental problem is not a technical issue, that is the glaring consequence. The problem is a cultural one that has been growing in extent for decades, and has been spack filled by the corporation to date.

COOB, fix the root cause, stop fluffing around on the periphery of the problem; Nero's fiddle playing didn't help Rome (1).

time for a Sapporo


(1) In July, 64 A.D., the fiddle didn't exist, but citharas did. Nero had sung on sacking Troy, and Tacitus appears to have conflated the two by his writings:
"pervaserat rumor ipso tempore flagrantis urbis inisse eum domesticam scaenam et cecinisse Troianum excidium, praesentia mala vetustis cladibus adsimulantem", [‘the rumour had spread that, at the very moment when Rome was aflame, he had mounted his private stage, and, assimilating the ills of the present to the calamities of the past, had sung the Destruction of Troy’]. Nero was 30 miles from Rome when the 6 day fire of July started ... but legend gives the parable of his playing an instrument that didn't exist for another millennia, a behaviour that is contrary to accounts by others at the time of his leadership in combatting the conflagration. However, it is a simple parable describing inappropriate interventions.
fdr is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 07:45
  #4 (permalink)  
Pegase Driver
 
Join Date: May 1997
Location: Europe
Age: 73
Posts: 3,658
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Superb post fdr ..
the article also mentioned :
Chris Hart, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, is leading a task force reviewing how the Max was certified.The report is expected to include about a dozen recommendations, with a focus on improving transparency in the certification process.
If the report will be only a list of recommendations how how to do it in the future, that will be good for safety , however by highlighting the past failures it has also the possibility to open a fresh cans of worms if one really look at the past certifications..
Sometimes it is better to learn from the past and look and concentrate only at the future.
ATC Watcher is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 13:19
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 756
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A key point from the article, focusing on something discussed in some depth in these threads:

One of the report’s most significant findings concerns the reporting structure for engineers at the company. At Boeing, top engineers report primarily to the business leaders for each airplane model, and secondarily to the company’s chief engineer. Under this model, engineers who identify problems that might slow a jet’s development could face resistance from executives whose jobs revolve around meeting production deadlines.

The committee recommends flipping the reporting lines, so that top engineers report primarily to Boeing’s chief engineer, and secondarily to business unit leaders.
OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 15:08
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 1,352
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by fdr
A great development.

However,

Boeings real problems are not in the aircraft, they are in the corporate managements failure to live up to their code of ethics. .
Sadly true, based on the evidence to date.
That is entirely the fault of the Board, isolated in an Chicago tower far from any of the operations. They rely on corporate presentations to make decisions, but those presentations may be at variance with reality.
Do note that this kind of separation of the leadership from the operations is also in effect in the defense sector, where most big firms are headquartered around Washington. There are obviously similar consequences there, but it is less visible.
etudiant is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 16:09
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 2,450
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
The plight of Boeing shows the perils of modern capitalism.

“The plight of Boeing shows the perils of modern capitalism. The corporation is a wounded giant. Much of its productive capacity has been mothballed following two crashes in six months of the 737 Max, the firmʼs flagship product: the result of safety problems Boeing hid from regulators.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...m-deregulation

safetypee is online now  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 16:20
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 2,450
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
Want Human-Centered Design: Reorganize the Company.

“ Development is a series of tradeoffs, often with incompatible constraints. Multiple factors compete for attention, each factor often demanding a solution that is incompatible with that required by another factor. Marketing, engineering, usability experts all champion their favored approach, each correct in their assessment, but nonetheless, each voicing different and incompatible concerns.

… success in the early stages of the technology marketplace favors technology-centered, feature-driven products. Customers clamor for more and better technology: engineers become experts at providing a stream of continual improvements in power, increased features, all at decreased cost. In this world, engineering rules the show.
Engineers reluctantly cede a place for marketing, and the reluctance is quite visible.

Marketing, moreover, becomes primarily feature-driven: query the existing customers for the features they desire most and pressure the engineering team to add them to the product, often with little regard, understanding, or even interest upon the impact on the coherence and integrity of the product. These are technology-driven customers, customers who purchase their products based upon technological accomplishments, upon novelty and lists of features.

In the latter stages of a technology, the game changes considerably. The technology is taken for granted. Factors such as the total user experience play a major role: customers want convenience and lack of hassle. This new entry, user experience, is not well established. Nobody quite knows how to deal with it.

The engineering team thinks it already understands user experience. After all, their previous customers were happy. The engineers themselves have no trouble with the product. Who are these new customers who need so much hand-holding? What’s the matter with them, anyway.

The marketing group thinks it already understands user experience. After all, marketing is in close touch with the customer: it knows first-hand what they want. Do they want ease of use? Sure, add it to the list of features. Do they want an attractive product, sure, hire a graphics designer to make it look pretty. Each item gets added to the list of things to be accomplished, as if the total user experience were a feature like “more speed” or “more memory” that can be purchased or added on to an established design.

… user experience is just another add-on … ease-of-use comes late in the game: after all, how can you make a product easy to use before it has been built?
First we build it, say the engineers, then we bring in those user interface folks to add some graphics and menus and make it easy to use.
… technical writers: how can you describe how to use a product until it is all finished, so there is actually something to write about? The writer’s job comes at the end.

Marketing provides a list of essential features: the engineers state what neat new technical tricks and tools they are ready to deploy. The engineers build the device, putting as many new technologies to work as they can within their allotted time and budget, squabbling with marketing along the way over which of those features really matter and which don’t. Then after all is finished and the product ready to ship, call in the technical writers to explain it to the customers. Call in the graphics and industrial designers to make it look pretty. Call in the user interface experts to make it usable.

Guess what: this process doesn’t work. … simply have to look around us at those high-technology products. “
… why so many telephone help lines are required, (but not available in flight).

Read on … https://www.nngroup.com/articles-wan...nt-reorganize/
‘The Invisible Computer’ Don Norman 1998 https://jnd.org

Also https://jnd.org/people-centered-not-tech-driven-design/

If you can think of a clever solution in a few hours, assume many others have already done so.
I learn more by being wrong than by being right
It's not you. Bad (systems) are everywhere.
Failures? No -- Learning Experiences
Simplicity is in the mind
Design for real people
Don't be logical

P.S. also ‘Being Analog’ https://jnd.org/being_analog/

Last edited by safetypee; 16th Sep 2019 at 16:29. Reason: P.S.
safetypee is online now  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 17:17
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 713
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by fdr
The legacy holdover of the 737 has been forced mainly by the airlines, and that is probably reaching a logical end following the MAX debacle.
I wonder about this. Boeing just needs to call their bluff. An airline that won't spring for a few hours of classroom and simulator time to learn a new subsystem isn't likely to start their flight crews from scratch with a side-stick.
EEngr is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 17:20
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by safetypee
“The plight of Boeing shows the perils of modern capitalism. The corporation is a wounded giant. Much of its productive capacity has been mothballed following two crashes in six months of the 737 Max, the firmʼs flagship product: the result of safety problems Boeing hid from regulators.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...m-deregulation

It actually shows the opposite.
In a command socialist society Boeing would be commanded to continue. In the capitalist society people stop flying in the Max so air carriers stop buying the Max and the company building the Max suffers a financial loss. The companies that sell better aircraft start winning more orders. This is capitalism controlling the market to ensure better quality aircraft. Similarly, the company making a loss removes those who made the incorrect decisions, learns from their failures and works to regain market share.
Ian W is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 18:50
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Washington state
Posts: 209
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ian W
It actually shows the opposite.
In a command socialist society Boeing would be commanded to continue. In the capitalist society people stop flying in the Max so air carriers stop buying the Max and the company building the Max suffers a financial loss. The companies that sell better aircraft start winning more orders. This is capitalism controlling the market to ensure better quality aircraft. Similarly, the company making a loss removes those who made the incorrect decisions, learns from their failures and works to regain market share.
Um, I think that you have that example backwards in an industry that is not exactly a shining example of the free market anyway. In this case, government agencies commanded airlines to stop flying the 737 MAX. If it were up to the airlines and Boeing (or the FAA), they would still be in the air and I am sure at least some people would still be boarding them. If the only plane that gets you to where you want to go is a MAX do you walk?
Water pilot is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 22:07
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,549
Received 23 Likes on 12 Posts
MBAs and Engineers

Upper management types consider themselves masters of the universe, cf. Trump's sharpie showing Dorian on track to hit Alabama and the attempted retaliation against NOAA truth tellers

Engineers (and other techies) understand there's no bending the laws of physics and math.

To be honest, the aerodynamics folks have a much better record of success than the software folks – dead bodies are harder to explain away than failed software.

I have seen several failed software projects. Management has the blinkers firmly screwed on and hangs on to MBA hallucinations.
RatherBeFlying is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 23:26
  #13 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 756
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by EEngr
I wonder about this. Boeing just needs to call their bluff. An airline that won't spring for a few hours of classroom and simulator time to learn a new subsystem isn't likely to start their flight crews from scratch with a side-stick.
True, but the ones with existing contracts (at least SWA) probably will want to enforce the $1 million per unit penalty. Of course, that might seem like a minor expense, at this point.
OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2019, 23:30
  #14 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 756
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ian W
The companies that sell better aircraft start winning more orders. This is capitalism controlling the market to ensure better quality aircraft.
What we actually have is an example of unrestrained capitalism destroying competition to the point that the "market" provides only two choices for purchasers of large airliners. It doesn't much resemble a "free" market at all.

OldnGrounded is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2019, 09:09
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: maioi
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by OldnGrounded
(Not sure whether this should be here or in the ongoing MAX thread.) Posted to the Times website a couple of hours ago:
.....to the cockpits of future airplanes to accommodate a new generation of pilots, some of whom may have less training.
Having had some recent exposure to training/examination in parts of Africa, I do think part of the problem lies here. I see aviation schools churning 100s of students per year through a completely broken system. They learn to work the system which requires zero understanding of the basics, just a mix of corruption and rote memorization to get through laughable exams. It would not surprise me to find the same was happening in other parts of the world such as East Asia.

I can only trust that they then get serious on-type training when they move onto the big carriers, but they are essentially starting from zero. They must have unpredictable but fundamental gaps.
rightseatNsweating is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2019, 14:32
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,577
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
One of many problems with the Grauniad story is that it gets history backwards. It was the pre-McMerger Boeing that hadn't had a peer competitor since the 1970s, a result of the suicide-pact development of the DC-10-10 and L-1011 - those were the last two all-new non-Boeing airliners launched in the US, 51 years ago. That was why Boeing could afford the massive overruns on the 777. Not until the late 1990s did Airbus really start to catch up and put some pressure on Seattle.
Neither was "classic" Boeing perfect: the Macs crew had nothing to do with the botched launch of the 737NG, the result of the "engineer-driven" culture's failure to fix a ramshackle system of configuration control that dated back to the Flying Fortress.
That said: the current obsession with share price is not a good thing. Share price is an indicator of the company's worth, but when management focuses solely on share price, it's like a school "teaching to the test": buybacks and dividends are used to pump the price.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2019, 14:45
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,049
Received 58 Likes on 35 Posts
The stock exchange has become so important for financing they even moved their group HQ from Seattle to Chicago to be closer to the east coast financial markets and media.
Less Hair is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2019, 19:10
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lossy city
Posts: 58
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rightseatNsweating
Having had some recent exposure to training/examination in parts of Africa, I do think part of the problem lies here. I see aviation schools churning 100s of students per year through a completely broken system. They learn to work the system which requires zero understanding of the basics, just a mix of corruption and rote memorization to get through laughable exams. It would not surprise me to find the same was happening in other parts of the world such as East Asia.

I can only trust that they then get serious on-type training when they move onto the big carriers, but they are essentially starting from zero. They must have unpredictable but fundamental gaps.
First post on this forum, and already trying to resurrect the bad pilots theory of the Ethiopian and Lion Air flights? Seems reasonable.
triploss is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2019, 22:38
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Earth
Posts: 47
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by OldnGrounded
What we actually have is an example of unrestrained capitalism destroying competition to the point that the "market" provides only two choices for purchasers of large airliners. It doesn't much resemble a "free" market at all.
Not to divert the thread, but aviation is not an example of unrestrained capitalism. The more regulation and red tape, the more socialistic the industry, and there are few industries with as much government involvement as aviation.
Preemo is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2019, 00:18
  #20 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Under the radar, over the rainbow
Posts: 756
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Preemo
Not to divert the thread, but aviation is not an example of unrestrained capitalism. The more regulation and red tape, the more socialistic the industry, and there are few industries with as much government involvement as aviation.
I don't want to diver the thread, either, but I need to point out that regulation in a capitalist economy is *not* socialism. If the aircraft manufacturers were operated under a socialist system, ownership, pricing, and probably the costs of labor and materials would be controlled by the workers/community/government. The same is true of operators, etc. We don't have that anywhere in the West.

Back to Boeing.
OldnGrounded is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.